The yearly Arctic15 pitching competition aims to find the most promising companies from the Nordics and Baltics each year. So far, we have been pretty lucky as we had the likes of Pipedrive, SmarpShare, 46 Elks, Holvi and many others among the finalists.
This year, The OP Pitching Competition @ Arctic15 took it to the next level, by promising a EUR 50 000 investment to the winner. As a result, we had the most competitive year yet and our TOP 4 companies wanted to deprive the world of world hunger, fix the energy crisis, teach everybody for free and disrupt the dentist market.
The winners were Fourdeg, a company that is aiming to help buildings and their tenants to manage their heating expenses. The data is easily accessible from a smartphone and the bid-data approach helps to save energy by up to 28%, which can translate to quite a lot of money in the end.
The other finalists included:
Entocube – Solves the problem of world hunger by building insect farms in containers.
Branchtrack – Learning by doing for companies.
Dental Mammoth – Makes the dental industry smart.
We recently met with Fourdeg, to give you an update on how they’ve been after the event. The co-founder of the smart heating company, Markku Makkonen, tells that participating in the competition has brought a lot of good things for Fourdeg.
“We got positive experiences especially from funding point of view. We got EUR 50 000 by default from the investors, so we have been discussing and negotiating about it. Getting two other parties committed to the round helped us achieve the critical mass of investors,” Makkonen says.
The amount of people being interested in collaborating with the company was a surprise for Fourdeg, since actually the company pondered for a long time if would they even participate in Arctic15.
“I actually visited Arctic15 last year, but we didn’t plan to participate because of limited budget and Nordic Top 20 Cleantech Scandinavia. In the last moment, I was thinking that if we can afford we should do it and we did,” tells Makkonen, who was also representing the company on stage at the event.
“We were expecting to have one-on-one meetings, and that worked better than in most of other events I’ve participated in. The networking worked well, and the event was small enough but at the same time big enough to collect the right people at the spot. And I could even have ad-hoc meetings,” explains Makkonen.
Funding round continues
Alongside connections, Makkonen says that the trust they got through winning the Arctic15 OP pitching competition influenced also to the existing investors:
“The investment is based on beliefs and trust and it helps if somebody else believes in us as well. Even if there is a lot of reality show type of things in a pitching competition, I think it’s part of the thing. It is socially very tough to be in front of the audience.”
Fourdeg is having at the moment an investment round, which is expected to be finished by the end of summer.
“We’re hoping to close the funding round in August or September. Now we’re planning to start the commercial operation and I believe we can do that. We already have pre-orders, so next year I hope to report that we have started the production,” says Makkonen. He also emphasizes that in the near future, they’re concentrating on building a stronger team and collaborating with larger companies. So if you want to join a great company, give Fourdeg a shout.
But how about the future – What can we expect from Fourdeg in the next ten years?
“We want to find our place in the energy ecosystem and create a software subscription model. The vision is that we’ll be more customer oriented in comparison to large hardware companies and energy companies,” states Makkonen.
We can’t wait to see where they will get to in a year. Come to next year’s event to see Fourdeg’s on-stage interview and meet the new finalists.
— ArcticStartup (@arcticstartup) July 9, 2015